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So you talked me into it

It's been a bit since I've been here. Well, I've been smoking less pipes this past winter. But the weather has changed, and those lovely briars and cobs are again starting to see the light of day. Once again, porch sitting weather is at hand!

The other reason I've backed off the pipes is now the stems feel a bit weird in my teeth. The rubber bits help quite a bit. Definitely took it from uncomfortable to weird. But I'm determined to get over that this porch season.

In other news, I've really taken to St. Bruno (the ribbon cut). I think I've found the secret to dark fired Kentuck, mix it with stuff! Like whatever they've mixed it with. It gave me a warm familiar feeling like deja vu in a pleasant way. Like Carter Hall made with Kentucky instead of non fired burley. It packs a pleasant punch and I can see how it's someone's all day smoke. Like introducing a whiskey drinker to scotch.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I still haven't tried St Bruno yet, and it will be a while before I do. I already have ample pouched tobacco for this year. I will try it at some point though.

In comparison, Condor is dark Virginias. No Burley. They're still stoved or steamed, or had some other mystical alchemy, and the Olde English toppings many associate with Lakelands.

Good to hear you got chance to try a few of the readily accessible blends we have over here, and I look forward to reading your thoughts on them.
 
It's been a bit since I've been here. Well, I've been smoking less pipes this past winter. But the weather has changed, and those lovely briars and cobs are again starting to see the light of day. Once again, porch sitting weather is at hand!

The other reason I've backed off the pipes is now the stems feel a bit weird in my teeth. The rubber bits help quite a bit. Definitely took it from uncomfortable to weird. But I'm determined to get over that this porch season.

In other news, I've really taken to St. Bruno (the ribbon cut). I think I've found the secret to dark fired Kentuck, mix it with stuff! Like whatever they've mixed it with. It gave me a warm familiar feeling like deja vu in a pleasant way. Like Carter Hall made with Kentucky instead of non fired burley. It packs a pleasant punch and I can see how it's someone's all day smoke. Like introducing a whiskey drinker to scotch.
I'm at the opposite end of the tunnel, where a pipe stem without a bit feels weird. Now I won't smoke a pipe without one. Took a while to get used to them though. Like driving a car with a really soft suspension.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
It was the taste that was offputting for me. I believe there are silicone ones out there, which may be more neutral, but the rubber bites I tried were awful.
 
It was the taste that was offputting for me. I believe there are silicone ones out there, which may be more neutral, but the rubber bites I tried were awful.

COO is very important with these. Make sure they are US or European made. Those should be tasteless, odorless, and last a long time. I get about a decade out of the EA Carey ones. I'm still working off a bag of 50 from God-knows-when. Softy Bits is the other big US maker, and they have been around forever. I'm sure there must be a UK manufacturer of these.



There have been a mountain of Chinese-made bits circulating out there for quite some time, particularly on Ebay. They look identical to the good ones. I wouldn't put anything from China near my mouth, as who knows what chemicals may be in them. If a vendor won't give you a COO, assume they are Chinese. Perhaps you got stuck with some of those.

One of the other gentlemen here bought food-grade tubing from a big box store and uses that, cutting off bits as needed. They've got to be a bit harder than the soft rubber ones (no pun intended), but his are clear, which is nice on a designer stem. Different horses for different courses.
 
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